Mathilda ErikssonMathilda Eriksson is defending her thesis on May 26th. When asked to describe her thesis, she explains:

“This thesis is about understanding the role of the forest in global climate policy. Forests are a key determinant of global atmospheric carbon and, hence, of climate change. Accordingly, to achieve an efficient climate policy, it is important to incorporate forest carbon mitigation strategies into global climate policy efforts. To this end, this thesis constructs two global frameworks, one single region and one multi-regional, that allows us to investigate how climate mitigation strategies can be enhanced by using forests optimally.

Read Mathildas thesis: The Role of the Forest in Climate Policy

On the whole, the results of this thesis indicate that forests can play a key role in climate policy and, that for an efficient climate policy to materialize, it is necessary to attach a price both on forest carbon and fossil carbon. At the global level, the key finding is that optimal forest climate policy should focus on increasing the storage of carbon in forests, rather than increasing the use of forest to produce energy. This result highlights the importance of recognizing the dynamics of both emissions and sequestration from forest biomass. At the regional level, the key finding is that efforts to increase forest land are most efficient in tropical forest regions, with the largest potential situated in Africa.

These findings are, however, contingent on several biological aspects of the forest, and of its interaction with the climate, which are not fully understood. To address this concern, one of the papers in the thesis investigates the role of uncertainty related to the dynamics of the forest, and of its climate feedbacks. Interestingly, we find that the importance of using the forest optimally in climate policy increases under uncertainty. In short, optimal forest responses make us more resilient to uncertainty. “

We also asked Mathilda about plans after her PhD, and she tells us that:
“There are still many questions that I am interested in researching that I haven’t had an opportunity to tackle. I intend to pursue an academic career. In the short run, I will have a visiting position at Georgia State University in the United States where I will begin my preparation for the academic job market. “

Read more about our PhD:s upcoming dissertations:

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